Nutrition | Need diet/exercise advice


I am a 5"8', 160 lb, 21 year old male. I'm vegetarian (not vegan, I can consume milk, eggs, etc. if I choose to - I just don't eat the actual animal). I have some questions concerning my diet/exercise.

This will be really long, because I am really curious to what my ideal diet/work out regimen should be. If you can even answer or comment on a portion of what I am writing about, I’d appreciate it. I’m basically looking for someone to verify if what I’m doing is correct or not, or at least give me some sort of input/insight.

I talked to a registered dietician at the Vitamin Shoppe, and he seemed like he knew what he was talking about.

Here is what my perspective was before I talked to him.

My primary goal is to lose belly fat and gain muscle. I've been under a consistent workout program at LA Fitness (with a semi-trainer that helps me out, sort of guides me to what I need to do everyday, but not really hold my hand). It seems like it's working, I feel sore everyday and it feels like my body is changing - my arms seem bigger than ever. And I believe I have gained 10 pounds of muscle ( I was 150 last month). Although my belly fat is what I'm most concerned with, I'm still waiting to see significant results in that area - I think it is gradually working though. It is not anything too noticeable… I wouldn’t be considered fat, but it’s still uncomfortable for me and I want to get rid of it –there is still a gut, and I want to get a 6 pack.


My trainer doesn't know much about a vegetarian diet in order to build muscle, so he is still waiting on someone to get him that information.

He wants me to consume 3,000 calories everyday, and at least 125g of protein. He says not to worry about the amount of food I intake, nor the fat, because when you lift weights and work out, your body will burn the fat even when you sleep.

My understanding is not that broad - before I met this trainer and the dietitian at the vitamin Shoppe, I basically just ate 3 meals a day (no idea how many calories .. some of what I eat is homemade Indian food (vegetables, rice, etc).. so I have no idea how to check the calories on that). I tried to avoid foods that were high in fat calories. After I met my trainer last month, I've been trying to eat a little more, but I've also significantly increased my protein intake.

Ever since I talked to the trainer, my diet would usually go as follows:

(water throughout the day)

8 AM:

Cereal (Special K Protein plus) (10g protein)
2 protein waffles (Kashi) (8g)
Milk + Nectar protein shake (30g)
Multivitamin (Ultimate Man)

11 AM:


12:30 PM
Salad (a large bowl of spinach leaves, carrots, broccoli, sunflower seeds, walnuts, kidney beans, lima beans, baby corn, 1 or 2 eggs (they are the sliced, squishy kind), handful of low fat cottage cheese). (no idea how much protein is in all that, but I'm sure it's a substantial amount)

4 - 5 PM
Zone bar (14g)

5 PM
Milk + Nectar Protein (30g)
Multivitamin (Ultimate Man)

6 PM - 8 or 9 PM - Workout

9 - 10 PM - Dinner (this could be things like indian food(vegetables), rice and beans, peanuts,
p&b jelly sandwich on double fiber wheat bread, etc.) (?g)
Milk + Nectar protein (30g)

This has to be at least 140 g of protein. Is there anything essential that I am missing, or doing wrong? ^ this was my perspective for a month after talking to the trainer, but after talking to a registered dietitian at the Vitamine Shoppe, who has his masters in biochemistry and says he was taught by the best in the world, he kind of almost did a 360 on my diet. I do not want to just rely on him, so I scheduled appointments with two different doctors just to go over all of this, but at the same time, doctors aren't dietitians.

This is basically what I could make sense of from what he told me:

- I initially came in there to just buy nectar protein, but he said that egg protein is better than whey protein, and he showed me an amico acid comparison and it sounded like he knew what he was talking about, so I bought the egg protein. He told me that I should supplement the protein shake with a sort of fruit, because the fruit has carbohydrates and it will help digest the protein. He says it wont matter how much protein you intake if you dont supplement it with carbohydrates in order to digest it. (sort of like rice and beans)

- Here is one thing I am still trying to grasp my mind around. He told me to stop drinking milk, and completely cut cheese and all other dairy out of my diet. His reasoning for this, from what I could gather, was that dairy contains high levels of histamine (he said it doesn’t matter if I don’t have any allergies), and if you have a high level of histamine, it requires you to also have a high level of adrenaline, and it strains your adrenal glands or something. Keep in mind that it sounded like he knew what he was saying and he had a well though-out argument, I am just paraphrasing the things that I remember and could make sense of. He said to stop believing mainstream media and propaganda about milk and all those things being good for you, it’s just all about making money – the government does not have your health’s best interest in mind. So anyway, he said completely to cut out all dairy, - my protein shakes should be mixed with water, not milk. Also stop eating cottage cheese. Where would I get calcium from if I listened to this person’s advice?

- Another thing he said alarmed me as well, because I thought the opposite was true. I thought that wheat and oat was good for you, but according to him, I should completely avoid wheat and oat in my diet because they contain gluten, which slows down the metabolism. So basically, I should stop eating my protein waffles in the morning, and replace them with a healthy alternative. He also told me to stop eating the Zone bars – even though they have 14 grams of protein, they have gluten. He recommended these Lara Bars – which are gluten free, much more expensive, and only have 3 grams of protein in each bar. In response to this he said something like “there’s different kinds of protein” or something.

- He then asked me if I’m getting any B12 – I told him I take the Ultimate Man multivitamin, and he said that only has 50 mcg of B12. He showed me a package that contained 2000 mcg lozenges for B12. He told me to start off with 6 a day, to be taken in pairs of 2, to see how much it does for you, and gradually decrease it to the ideal amount over time. Is this safe? Is this what I should be doing?

- He also told me to get my sulfur, glutamine, and some other levels checked out by a doctor, via a blood test. He said that the doctor probably wouldn’t be able to interpret the results, so bring the blood test back to him. He said just like cholesterol, you should maintain a even level of sulfur, glutamine, and the 3rd thing he said, which I forgot the name of. He said I should fast for 12 hours before the test, and not drink anything besides water, and also to not brush my teeth.

I am going to talk to a couple doctors to see if what he is saying is true, and get it verified. But I have a feeling my doctors are going to think I’ve gone crazy, and there is no way they would recommend for me to stop eating dairy, wheat, oat … would they?


A couple years ago, when I first started working out semi-consistently, I always thought that the faster and harder I ran, and the higher my heart rate was, the faster I would lose fat. Apparently, that is not completely true, from what I’m told, because at really high heart rates, you are just burning mostly muscle. The only reason people that would need to run at such high heart rates are marathon runners seeking to shed some muscle weight. (I hear there are different theories on that, so I am still confused).

220 - my age = 199
199 x 50-70% = 99-139 - so I should keep my heart rate in there to burn fat?

Or should i keep it in the 80% cardio zone (160 bpm) in order to push myself and burn more calories - is this inefficient? I'm still struggling on figuring this out - but lately, I've just been keeping my heart rate at 160.

As for the actual lifting, he has me doing different body parts everyday, and I am not too worried about that aspect, because for one thing, I am seeing results, especially in my arms. Also, I'm pretty sure he knows what he is talking about. He was a pro football player for 5 years and owns his own training company for 4 months out of the year to prepare NFL prospects for the NFL Combine. The only problem is that I don't get too much time to ask him questions since he is the store manager, and he is pretty busy.

Thanks for your help.


Posted by Reply
11 Posts
4/5/2010 10:24:09 PM

Losing body fat needs concentrating on a program that deals psychosomatically; unless there are appropriate exercises and mindset strategies, even the best diets have been noticed not to come into any use. On the flip side, even if your diet structure is not the perfect one, with a proper mindset and an exercise regime (though of a higher intensity), one may expect spectacular results.

Let's find out first why some people accumulate fat and others do not. The key to this problem is metabolism; someone inactive has a slower metabolic rate and that is because the body programmed itself towards fat-burning inefficiency and derives its necessary energy from the free carbohydrates. You do not empty your savings account when you have sufficient inflow of cash. It works similarly.

So the best way to start things over is by eliminating the post-lunch carbohydrate intakes. The body shall reprogram itself to burn fat due to the lack of free carbs and within a fortnight (more or less), you shall start discovering a new you.

Weight Loss Dietician

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